Does Using Cannabis Give You Wrinkles?

Find out if cannabis can give you wrinkles.

Smoking and alcohol can give you wrinkles but not cannabis. Image Credit: By NataliaKo, Zhur_Sa and Neo Tribbiani on shutterstock

Over the years, we’ve built up some misconceptions about cannabis and its effects on the body — one of which is that it can cause wrinkles. The good news is it’s not true, and there’s science to prove it.

Myths about cannabis have been around for decades, and since they’re often spouted by “reputable” sources, many people have internalized them, even if they don’t quite believe them. However, as the movement to legalize cannabis sweeps the world, people are beginning to reconsider many of the old stereotypes and question what a “typical cannabis user” actually looks like.

One thing that’s becoming clear: if they have wrinkles (and an increasing number of them do), those aren’t caused by cannabis.

Today, the benefits of medical cannabis are well-established — so much so, in fact, that even Republican senators are calling for more research. Cannabis is also becoming a mainstay in the worlds of food and beauty: according to a national survey of chefs and restaurant owners, cannabis derivatives are one of the top foodie trends of 2019, and they’re also apparently revolutionizing the skin care industry.

With so much newfound interest in the plant, scientists are studying it more closely than ever before. One of their most fascinating discoveries? Cannabis doesn’t cause wrinkles — in fact.

Cannabis Actually Prevents Wrinkles

The key to cannabis’ wrinkle-fighting powers is its ability to eliminate free radicals, tiny molecules in the body that damage the structure of healthy skin cells by stealing electrons from them. This process is called “oxidation,” and the body is more susceptible to it as we age. This is one of the biggest reasons we see more fine lines and wrinkles as we move through the aging process.

What can stop oxidation? You might have heard of them before: antioxidants.

For years, experts have recommended eating foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin E, two of the most common and popular antioxidants. But new research suggests that cannabis could be more effective than both of them.

THC and CBD, two of the compounds found in cannabis, are natural antioxidants. This is why both of them have become such popular ingredients in skin care products. However, when it comes to banishing wrinkles, cannabis also brings more to the table by:

  • Helping the body to regulate sebum production, which results in softer, more supple skin that’s less likely to crease with time.
  • Reducing inflammation, which happens more and more as we age — although inflammatory skin diseases like psoriasis and rosacea affects children and teens, too.
  • Boosting collagen production, which keeps the skin flexible and smooth for longer.
  • Helping to promote sleep, which has a hugely beneficial effect on aging skin.

It’s clear that cannabis can help to reduce wrinkles. Will it stop the sands of time in their tracks and restore your skin to it’s former, childhood glory? No — unfortunately there is no magic lotion or potion that can reverse time, despite what many of them promise. Things like cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, sun exposure, and stress will take their toll on your skin, no matter what skin care products you use.

But the next time you see a wrinkle on your forehead after a week-long bender at the beach, you can rest assured that it wasn’t caused by cannabis.

Sarah Tyrrell
Sarah Tyrrell
Sarah Tyrrell is a health, wellness, and lifestyle writer based in Ireland whose work has appeared in The Irish Times and The Independent, among others. In 2017, she founded the lifestyle brand “Self Love and Sarah” to promote healthy self image and body positivity for women.

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